The Arc

Installation artist Anne Patterson inspects the arched Douglas Fir ceiling that informs the namesake of the venue.

John Belitsky

The 20,000-capacity, multi-stage venue in Queens will kick off its first ticketed shows in May.

New York music venue The Arc is opening its programming to the public with the help of new ticketing partner Eventbrite. The 20,000- sq. ft. property in Queens has been hosting invite-only performances in the renovated space and will kick off ticketed events in May with three shows featuring artists that encompasses hip-hop, soul, and electronic dance music and a special performance to be revealed in the coming weeks.

"Queens is the most ethnically diverse county in the country. It's more languages, more religions, more people from other parts of the world," says The Arc COO Rich Pawelczyk. "We certainly hope to be a world class facility and get the underplays and do some of the innovative program we’ve already done. But there are many, many communities that are underserved and there are really exciting genres that are being developed in other countries and also in this county and lots of mashups of genres that we're seeing."

The first slate of ticketed shows for The Arc will include sets from Miami Horror, Shigeto, French Horn Rebellion, Flamingosis and Swarvy. In addition to bringing culturally relevant and immersive media the community it serves, The Arc felt the need to bring a ticketing partner on board that would help create demand for the events.

“We’re very excited to be working with Eventbrite and we’re confident that they can help us move the needle in a pretty crowded marketplace,” says Pawelczyk.

“This is a large venue in an up and coming marketplace. It’s got multiple spaces and it’s not just music. It is art, film, food, drink,” says president of Eventbrite’s music division Andrew Dreskin of The Arc that features a 400-capacity room and a larger 1,700-capacity space for events. “If you’re going to open a next generation venue, you want to have modern hardware.”

Eventbrite is an adept ticketing partner for the malleable venue given the product’s fluidity, according to Dreskin.

“We've got broad distribution partnerships with folks like Spotify, Youtube, and Instagram and our marketing channels are driving a significant percentage of sales for our clients,” Dreskin tells Billboard.

“I’ve been on this project for over a year and we’ve been talking to ticketing companies and we were very careful about this choice,” Pawelczyk tells Billboard. “Eventbrite and the entities that is has acquired have always been on the cutting edge of moving the ticketing process along. Selling tickets sounds like it is turnkey but it’s really not.”

The Arc plans on building the caliber of its ticketed events off the strength of the performances it has already held at the venue. The space has already hosted various projects from several nights with Kendrick Lamar collaborator Anna Wise to recorded sessions with musicians from Juilliard.   

The venue draws its name from its arched wooden ceiling that serves as a de facto speaker, according to Pawelczyk who has over 20 years of experience in the industry including serving as the COO of Webster Hall Entertainment Corp. in New York. The Arc is an open space that is unobstructed by columns and ideal for recording sessions and other immersive experiences that have been curated by Queen’s art community and venue founder John Belitsky.

"We're really kind of showcasing how we want to transform what a 21st century concert feels like which is much more immersive experience than just seeing people bop around in a proscenium which is, I like to say, how Jesus Christ went to concerts and 2000 years later not much has changed,” Belitsky, who is also the founder of DMNDR which is a global community of musicians, artists and fans. “Our view is where technology is and where culture is, is so far ahead of what that concert experience is like. We want to start pushing and pulling on the canvas and the structure of what that experience feels like.”

Music is just the beginning for The Arc which will feature cutting edge art, film projection, and custom food and drink pairings will populate the space. 3LD, a Manhattan-based not-for-profit community-oriented and artist-run production development studio will be transforming time and space with its immersive media and projection platform.

“We are providing the exact kind of exciting experience that New York City deserves. This town was built on exciting and that’s our mandate,” says Belitsky. “We’re putting a lot of pressure on ourselves to deliver something that’s not just garden variety concert experience.”

Miami Horror will perform on May 9 with tickets available here. May 10, Shigeto and Swarvy will take the stage with tickets available now. Tickets for Flamingosis and French Horn Rebellion’s May 16 show can be found here.

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